Friday, April 29, 2016

Up Gunned Expeditionary Strike Group?

via Navy Times.
“I think this is going to revolutionize where we are with expeditionary strike groups,” Swift said. “The three-ship PAC SAG that [destroyers] Decatur, Momsen and Spruance are part of will pave the way for another SAG, just like this one, attached to the large-deck amphib so that it will become what I’m calling an ‘Up-Gunned ESG.’”
A typical ESG includes an amphibious assault ship, a dock landing ship or amphibious transport dock and a couple of destroyers or a cruiser and a destroyer. An attack sub may also accompany the group.
This new concept, with the addition of the joint strike fighter, looks a lot like a mini-carrier strike group. The surface action group envisioned by Swift would include a big deck and a handful of shooters.
Swift also said he has asked the destroyer squadron leader for the surface action group currently deployed to assign warfare commander responsibilities to the different ships and to act as if it were attached to the expeditionary strike group. The Decatur, which is a ballistic missile defense-capable ship, could take on the role of air warfare commander, a role typically assigned to a cruiser.
“I’m excited about the potential options you will explore as part of this three ship SAG,” Swift told sailors.
This can go one of two ways.

The first is that this is part of the Deputy Commandant's plan to develop the LHD into mini-aircraft carriers which will endanger our big deck carriers and the MEU.  This is the wet dream that Amos started and one that Dunford and Neller didn't care enough about to kill in its infancy.  This concept is the one that could destroy the Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force.

The second is that we could actually see a move toward building not only an Up Gunned Expeditionary Strike Group but also an Enhanced MEU.

Confidence is not high.

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